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Aaron Beiler - Equip Your Jobsite – The Future of Jobsite Equipment - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Equipter - Aaron Beiler - Equip Your Jobsite – The Future of Jobsite Equipment
January 9, 2023 at 11:01 a.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Aaron Beiler of Equipter. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a long-term professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Hello and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips from RoofersCoffeeShop. This is Heidi Ellsworth and I'm road tripping cross country over to Pennsylvania to meet with a long time friend of RoofersCoffeeShop. In fact, one of our first. He goes way back. We've had a great honor of watching this company grow and become the piece of equipment to have in roofing. So I would like to introduce and welcome to Roofing Road Trips Aaron Beiler, the founder of Equipter. Aaron, welcome to the show.

Aaron Beiler:

Heidi, it's great to be on the show. Thank you so much for having us. Yes, I'm Aaron Beiler, founder and inventor of the Equipter. And you're correct, Heidi, we go way back.

Heidi Ellsworth:

We do.

Aaron Beiler:

In fact, when we invented the Equipter for my roofing company back in 2003, RoofersCoffeeShop was the first marketing tool that we used. Back then it was the newspaper. And really, I'm not just saying that because I'm on your show, you were the very first marketing tool that we used. So it's great to have this great relationship all these years.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Aaron, when I started back with RoofersCoffeeShop in 2015, Vickie was like, "Equipter is our favorite. We love Equipter." And Vickie, just to your point, had Equipter in the newspaper Roofers Exchange and then you've been with us all along. Such a great partnership and so much fun to watch the growth of your business. Maybe can you talk a little bit about Equipter, how it started? Give us just a little bit of history and where you're at today.

Aaron Beiler:

Sure. So I was roofing. I started a roofing company in 1987. So I was roofing 15-16 years without the Equipter and doing what everybody else was, working really hard, making good money but looking for an easier way. So I came up with a concept for my roofing company, and one thing led to the next. We got the first unit out on our job site in 2003 and immediately first job site, I was like, "Okay, this is what I was looking for." Very impressive to the homeowners and makes my job a whole lot easier.

Heidi Ellsworth:

I love it. I love it. I mean, really you see it everywhere and contractors are using it nonstop. What do you see with the growth of equipment like Equipter on the roofing jobs since you started? It seems like this just exploded.

Aaron Beiler:

Sure. The growth on the job site. When you're saying what does it do for the contractor, I'm not sure if that's what you're asking or if you're asking the growth across the country. The growth across the country is last year we had our best year. This year we're same as last year. Business was booming last year. I thought this year we're going to be a little bit less. But this year, I just found out yesterday that no, we're eye for eye what we were last year. The beginning of the year was a little bit slower, but what it does for the contractors on the job site, we're usually told that you can get three or four extra jobs done a month. This one was interesting.

Just heard that this week Jason from [inaudible 00:03:33] Roofing, he has crews. His crews, he said when they come to work for him, in other words, they were working for another roofing contractor without the Equipter and they were doing about 100 square per week. So he's able to pay less his crews and they're making more money because he equips them with the Equipter. And then he said they're literally able to get 170 square done a week rather than 100 square.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Wow.

Aaron Beiler:

Even when he's paying them a little bit less per square, they're making a lot more money because they're getting 35 square a week done more with the Equipter. And then his setup, which again is due to the Equipter, he's able to say, "Rather than going home when you're finished at 3:00, you're going to the next job site." So he has his setup, "You're finished with the job at 2:00 or 3:00 or whatever, you're going to the next job site." So they're getting 170 square done a week rather than 100 square, so they're making more money but he's paying them less per square.

Heidi Ellsworth:

It really shows that if you equip your crews with the right equipment and with the right safety and with everything that they need, that happens. I think that's so impressive.

Aaron Beiler:

I think we all know that in any type of business, the more equipment you can get. We're in manufacturing. I used to be roofing and that now I'm totally in manufacturing. But obviously if I can get equipment to make my company more efficient, it's a no-brainer. So the Equipter certainly does that for roofing contractors is you equip your crews and they're going to get obviously more jobs completed with less hassles.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah, that is so cool. What I'd really love to hear too is that your contractor is able to bring on crews who want to work with them. So if you are a contractor using sub crews, it's going to be a recruitment to make sure that you're keeping those crews. But also for people who are looking at having their own crews, this really can help with the labor shortage because you don't need as many people if you have the right equipment. Can you talk about that a little bit more?

Aaron Beiler:

Sure, sure. Let me just comment on that. We hear that all the time is when a roofing crew or a roofer joins a company that has the Equipter, most times they stick with the company because it is just a whole lot more efficient. They're able to be more efficient and so they're going to stick with you when you equip them with equipment. Again, as far as the labor shortage, if you're able to increase your efficiency, let's say 25-30%, and that's what we're told, we're told more than that sometimes, with two less guys, they're going to be able to get the same amount of work done but overall you're going to be about 30% more efficient.

Heidi Ellsworth:

And that makes all the difference. I mean really, when you think about all these contractors out there who are looking for labor and who are looking to retain and keep all their great labor, those are the kind of benefits that people don't always talk about, but that it makes a huge difference out in the field.

Aaron Beiler:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Heidi Ellsworth:

You said something earlier too that I loved is when you started Equipter that you found the homeowners really... It made a difference on how they viewed you and when you came out to roof that you had this great equipment saving all the yard, grandmother's roses. Talk a little bit about that homeowner approval of Equipter and how the contractors should be marketing the fact that they use Equipters in their business.

Aaron Beiler:

Sure. Well, that concept started way back when I had my roofing company and had it built for my roofing company is I real quickly saw the advantage that I was able to have over roofing contractors because I was able to keep the job site a lot cleaner with less hassles than I ever had before. So it real quickly began to be noticeable to the homeowners. When I had my roofing company literally doing a job in a development, I'd have homeowners across the street that weren't even having their roof replaced come over and take pictures of my job site.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Love it.

Aaron Beiler:

I was doing a little bit of marketing back then, not a whole lot, wasn't real much into marketing, but this got me into marketing. So somebody came up with a tagline, "New roof, no mess." So we made that our personal tagline. We're now able to offer homeowners a new roof with no mess. So that became very obvious and became very, very exciting to me to see what that is still doing in especially the residential roofing industry. I would say that in the last years, I think the Equipter has made a big difference that the bar has been raised what homeowners now expect from a roofing contractor that they didn't really expect 10 years ago. I think the bar is raised across America, whether you have the Equipter or not. You're really not able to get away with what you were able to get away with 10 years ago because the homeowners know that, look, it's not necessary that my job site looks that messy.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yes. Yeah. I was just talking to Stephanie Baird with Bliss Roofing out of Clackamas, Oregon. They have three Equipters and they love them and she was just like, "I can't imagine our world without it. And our customers just expect it." So they do exactly what you're saying and they use it in their marketing all the time.

Aaron Beiler:

We have contractors telling us all the time as far as how many more jobs they're getting because of homeowners being impressed with their company when they see the process of how their roofing crews are replacing that house roof. It's very impressive to the homeowner. I remember here some time ago, just over a short period of time, I talked with three different roofing contractors that were using it in their sales presentation. And the one company told me, "I just landed a 800 square job, a apartment complex." And just a week later a contractor told me he landed 1100 square job. And then it was right over the same time, I think the other one was perhaps 500 square. But it was very interesting for me to hear right back to back three different contractors getting these big jobs, plus just even the ordinary working on a residential roofing house and you're doing a job in a neighborhood, you're going to impress the whole neighborhood when they see it's a great way to protect my flowers and shrubbery.

Usually homeowners are more concerned about their flowers and shrubbery than anything else. Statistics or research interviews have proved that when you're replacing a house roof, usually their number one concern is their flowers and shrubbery. And my observation, Heidi, is that the companies in the last 10 years have become a lot more professional than when I started roofing. Very professional companies, they now have trained sales people, they have nice trucks, they've got nice presentations as far as whether they're using EagleView or something like that and they're able to come in. And very, very professional. But a lot of those companies are really losing their professional image on the job site because they send the crews out and they're doing it like they did 30 years ago, 20 years ago. That makes a very inconsistency when your job site is actually the very main part of your image.

You salesmen are great, but from that perspective, really what you're focused on is selling the job and getting the money. But if you're not concerned about the job site when it's actually being done, you're actually missing a large part of your company image when the job's getting done.

Heidi Ellsworth:

When you're on the job site and you're in a neighborhood and all those neighbors are looking and seeing how it's going, when you have no mess and all the flowers. That's how I feel. I don't want my flowers to be wrecked. I don't want all that landscape that we worked so hard on. So I do think it's a huge marketing benefit within the neighborhoods when they really focus it on the jobs and they should be talking about it.

Aaron Beiler:

It's huge for marketing. It's your marketing dollars that are making you money because you're getting more jobs done. So it's free marketing. It's making you money because of the efficiency. Your crews are getting more done and it's great marketing. And my thinking is back 10 years ago, 15 years ago, homeowners didn't really have an option because everybody was doing it the same pretty much. But now homeowners are starting to realize that wait a minute, there's options now. When they realize that if you're a roofing contractor and the homeowner is aware of the option of the Equipter, you're going to eventually, I believe more and more you're going to have a hard time being in business because homeowners are choosing contractors that offer them cleaner job sites with the Equipter.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I think it's brilliant. That kind of was leading us to the next question. You started having rental Equipters available across the country, and I was hoping you could talk about that. How does that work? How did you start that program?

Aaron Beiler:

Rentals are huge across the country, as you mentioned. We started that. From the beginning, I realized that a lot of people were probably going to say, "Well, I'd like to try it out." So I realized that well, rentals is a great way to try it out. And some companies may say that, "Look, I want to rent it. I don't have the cash flow right now." But mostly the rentals is a great way for the companies to try it out. So usually they'll say, "Where can I rent it?" So that's been so exciting to us because we're selling to rental companies across the country. We don't rent them out ourselves, but we sell them to rental companies. United Rentals just recently got on board. That's exciting for us. Now there's a number of United Rentals where you can rent the Equipters through United Rentals as well as many other rental places. So you can get on our website real easily and find out where's the closest rental location where you're at.

We have a rental specialist right in the company actually that you will help you out. Even though we don't rent out the Equipter ourselves, we sell them to the rental companies. We have a specific department, what we call the rental specialists, that'll help contractors if they have any questions on that.

Heidi Ellsworth:

When I worked at EagleView, I was always like, if you can just get one Eagle View report into a contractor's hands, it's going to lead to the next to the next to the next. So to me, having that opportunity for a contractor or for a roofing company to rent an Equipter and try it out, you must be seeing some great feedback from contractors saying, "Okay, now we want to get one of our own in our company." What are you hearing from contractors on that?

Aaron Beiler:

Yeah, interesting question, Heidi. Thanks for asking that. Some of the ones that stand out for me is various companies, I'm thinking of a couple of them, that skeptical saying, "Okay, well, I'm going to try it out." And remember, the one company specifically, three hours after he tried it out the first day, was just using it, hadn't purchased it, he called later that morning, three hours after he had it on the job site, he said, "Look, I got to buy one of these." We hear those elements of people renting it and saying... And he said he always knows when he sees things on the social media, somebody saying this, this, that about it. Like, "Well, it's going to do this. It's going to track up yards." He said, "I always know those are people that don't have the Equipter." Because he knows what his Equipters are doing for his company as well as, if you have the Equipter, you know what it does for your crews, how it impresses homeowners. So yes, rentals is just huge for somebody to say, "Okay, let me try one of those."

Heidi Ellsworth:

All over the US, you have people with Equipters, renting Equipters, and then I have to ask, are you getting up into Canada? Are you seeing this trend continue internationally?

Aaron Beiler:

Yes. We have units in Canada, not even close to what we have in the 50 states, but we have them in Hawaii. I think we have one in Alaska now. So we have them across America, into Canada. And yes, it's been exciting. What's been happening there, Heidi, is from the beginning I was very focused on not just a good concept, but I wanted a good piece of equipment. Okay. I was very focused on, I wanted to work for my roofing company. I don't want just a good concept. So now what happens is when people purchase the Equipter, they come back, they buy their second one, they buy their third one, they buy their fourth one, they buy their fifth one. Or if you rent it. And again, some of them, they keep renting for forever. That's fine. But once you use it, you say, "Wow, this is a very, very well built piece of equipment." And we hear it over and over again. "You guys thought of everything."

The rollback, going back to the flowers and shrubbery, the 10 and a half foot of catch area, getting into six foot spaces, but then being able to open the lids and have a nice wide catch area, the self propelled, getting it to the job site is so easy, which why the rentals work so well because you can just pick it up with your pickup truck, take it to a job, and the next day take it 10 miles down the road or 50 miles down the road, or two miles down the road. It's so easy to get to the job site. Then when you have it at the job site, you just disconnect it from the truck, you take it to the tight spots. It's just so mobile, so easy to operate.

Again, we're just so excited about what it's doing overall to the roofing industry and looking back the last 10 years and how it continues to build momentum in the roofing industry, that it's just the way that you do roofing. In our area, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, if you don't have the Equipter, you're not a roofer. It's pretty much within, I would say, 100 mile radius here. I think probably 95% of the roofers either rent or they own the Equipter.

Heidi Ellsworth:

It really is. I mean, Aaron, it has to make you feel so good and so proud because you change the industry by having this idea from your roofing company and bringing it. It has changed the industry and how we roof today.

Aaron Beiler:

I personally think that roofing contractors deserve profitable opportunities. And I think RoofersCoffeeShop talks about roofing respect. Look up to them. Some of the slogans that you guys have. I think RoofersCoffeeShop is very correct on that. They deserve respect because they're doing a job that very few people want to do anymore. And roofing contractor, the employees, the crews out there, they deserve respect. They really do. And they deserve equipment that makes their job site a whole lot more easier, a whole lot more efficient. And again, it impresses homeowners. So it's a win-win situation all around. So it's very satisfactory for me to look back to see how much the roofing industry has changed because of the Equipter and how it's helping the crews out there, just in the hard work that's taking place. It's making their job a lot easier for them.

Heidi Ellsworth:

Yeah, I love that. I think that's great. I want to make sure that everyone out there knows that there is a promotion that you do. It's a $75 rental promotion, and it will help you get that first rental and get started. So you can find that on RoofersCoffeeShop. We're so proud of that. You can also find all this information in the Equipter directory. Aaron, again, I'm just so happy we did this podcast. What you've done for the industry, I'm just so happy that we can shout it out and really talk about the great things that Equipter is doing today to help crews, owners, homeowners. I mean, it's just like you said, it's a total win.

Aaron Beiler:

To the contractors out there, try the rental, $75 rebate. As Heidi mentioned, you can get a $75 rebate if it's your first rental. And again, roofing contractors that even have the Equipter sometimes they're like, "Hey, I need another Equipter for a certain job." They go rent it. Or certain jobs that, "Look, I don't own the Equipter, but I really need it on this job or certain jobs." What I would suggest, even if you don't have a huge job coming up, line up 10 roofs and say, "Okay, I'm going to rent it for two weeks." The rentals are actually quite reasonable. And that's a great way to get it into your hands, let your crews give it a shot.

Heidi Ellsworth:

And once you try it, you're never going to go back. So just get ready. You're going to love it. Aaron, thank you so much and thank all of you for listening. This is the kind of stuff we love to bring, the things that have changed the industry and continue to make such a difference. So be sure to check out Equipter, their full directory on RoofersCoffeeShop, and check out all of our podcasts under the Read Listen Watch Initiative on RoofersCoffeeShop.com, or on your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to subscribe and get notifications, and we'll be seeing you next time on Roofing Road Trips.

Speaker 1:

Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the RoofersCoffeeShop.com.



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